, , , , , , ,

Like many other apparently dull people such as Clark Kent and Peter Parker I’m not somebody expects great surprises from.

I live in Switzerland, the Almighty C’s stay-at-home-mum, the beloved wife to the Hedge Funder, right?

No, it’s not right.

In this very moment my sister in law is hanging out with the Almighty C who she went to pick up at school (in Lugano schools end at 11 AM on Wednesdays), later on today my husband will drive him home, give him a bath, fix his dinner and  put him to bed.

And I? What am I doing? I’m in Milan sneaking through the cheerful people at the Milan Fashion Week and trying not to look too much of an alien… How did this come?

Well, like many other apparently dull people such as Clark Kent and Peter Parker I have a secret weapon: my mother (spiderman had his auntie, but it’s more or less the same).

How I made it to survive her personality and develop one myself is still a complete mistery to the world, mum has the devastating power of the Irma hurrycane and is as much willed, the favourite friend of all my friends, the life and soul of the party. Mother is a PR, and I don’t mean she does it for a living, I mean she is ontologically one. In the late 70s she opened her own PR agency (www.pariniassociati.com) and has been working ever since.

When I was a kid I attended an exclusive Catholic school run by nouns. Half of my teachers were nouns and the other half consisted of judgemental upper class ladies in their late 40s, or early 50s with their flat shoes, grey or camel twin sets and pearl necklaces, very much the style of my school mates’ mothers. I still remember the parent-teachers conferences as a complete nightmare. In this dim light parlour with Savonarola chairs along the walls came my mum and literally everyone went silent. With her white-blonde hair, accurate makeup, stilettos and fur coat (fur coats were very popular in the 80s) she only missed a leashed leopard. “Is THAT your mum?”, whispered out in shock, is the only thing I remember my school mates asking me on those days.

She really never wanted me to work with her or to work in the communication sector at all so that – while all my friends tried to crush runaway shows and vernissages and applied to work with my mum (which thing some of my friends did for several years before opening their own PR agencies) I graduated in jurisprudence, joined the bar and worked as a lawyer for some 20 years before dying from bore.

So you may immagine how surprised I was when she asked me to go to work at her PR agency back in June. But I accepted and am now discovering a new world in which nobody ever goes silent no matter what… and where actually a leashed leopard would come in handy 😉